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Today was another one of those dreary autumn days with a lot of rain. I also felt a bit tired so I needed an easy and relaxing tea to sip while reading a book. The tea I chose for today’s session is Tea Encounter‘s Zheng Si Long 2015 Wa Long sheng puer tea. The description online looked promising so I started brewing.
If you want to read about the other teas from Tea Encounter, click the following links:
- 2003 Yuanjiutang Ban Zhang Tea Tasting (Tea Encounter)
- Bai Yin Shan Yesheng Tea Tasting (Tea Encounter)
- 2013 Chen Xi Hao Gao Shan Zhai Tea Tasting (Tea Encounter)
- 2019 Bang Dong Tea Tasting (Tea Encounter)
Don’t know where to buy tea online in Europe? I made a list of over 80 online shops and I keep updating it regularly. You can check it over here.
Zheng Si Long 2015 Wa Long
Zheng Si Long is a brand of tea founded by Mr Zheng. He is a Yiwu native who specialises in puer tea from Yiwu and the neighbouring six tea mountains. The Zheng Si Long 2015 Wa Long is a sheng puer tea from Wa Long village in Man Zhuan. This is very close to Yiwu and is located in the area of the six famous tea mountains at an altitude of around 1100m. The tea is from Spring 2015 and comes from gushu (ancient) tea trees.
Due to the nature of this tea, I did not do 6 infusions with fixed infusion times but I just went with it. I tried to listen to what the leaves wanted to tell me and adjusted the brewing times accordingly (or at least I tried). I won’t give detailed information about each infusion but I’ll talk about similar infusions and how the flavours changed throughout the session.
The dry leaves consist of massive leaves and I think I see some buds in there as well. The leaves have a deep brown colour, while the buds are lighter (almost beige). The buds are also a bit “fluffy”. I’m getting a sweet aroma of honey and golden raisins in combination with light hay.
Now you can see the real beauty and size of these wet leaves. I also spot some stems and buds. The colour is a darker and uniform kind of green. The aroma is also sweet but it’s a different kind of sweetness. It’s still some honey but it’s a warmer smell.
- Water 90°C – 99°C
- 6.2g for 150ml Jianshui teapot
- 1 rinse
- 9 infusions
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I started the session with a quick rinse, followed by a 15-sec infusion and two 20 seconds infusions. The liquor had a light orange colour and a very prominent aroma. You could smell the sweetness from miles away. Once I started tasting, I noticed that the aroma was more prominent than the flavours themselves. The infusions were subtle but really sweet. It’s difficult to describe the sweetness because I recognised some light golden raisins but it was much more complex than that. The aftertaste was also sweet and lightly astringent.
The next three infusions were 20, 25 and 25 seconds. The sweetness became a lot more prominent but I’m still not sure how to describe it. It was more intense compared to the first three infusions but rather subtle compared to some other teas. The colour is still a kind of orange. I also experienced the gushu qualities of these leaves as I could taste that they came from ancient tea trees (or at least that is what I think I experienced). A final element worth noting is that I really felt the Qi of this tea. I got a warm feeling throughout my body, which was more than welcome, considering the weather these days.
Infusions 7 and 8 were 25 seconds each, while the final one was a minute or two. The sweetness from the earlier infusions diminished further and was barely noticeable during these final infusions. There was, however, a kind of spiciness that gave me a tingling sensation in my mouth. There was also a slight astringency as I got a chalky mouthfeel after swallowing. It’s amazing that even during the final infusion, I still felt traces of the sweetness from the earlier infusions. The general effect of this tea is amazing. I’m still feeling the sweetness almost an hour after I finished the session.
This is a perfect tea to drink on an easy Sunday afternoon. It’s subtle but not too subtle. It is definitely possible that I didn’t use enough leaves so that is something I will change next time. I don’t expect major changes in flavours but you never know. I got a sweetness but I’m not really sure what it was exactly. I got some honey and golden raisins at the beginning but this changed throughout the session. It would be a shame to say the sweetness was only honey and raisins as it was much more complex than that. The Qi was also noticeable because this tea had a warming effect. In general, I got a subtle sweetness that is perfect for a rainy Sunday in October.
Interested in trying this sweet, complex and warming tea? You can buy it over here.